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Art

Matters
AH 100.16 Spring 2012 Hannah Brancato hbrancato@mica.edu 336-404-0959 Office hours: Wednesdays, by appointment


Image: Hank Willis Thomas, Branded Head. 2003. Lambda photograph, digital C-print; Edition: 1/3, 99 x 52

Course Description
Art Matters is a foundation-year seminar that aims to introduce all students to the discipline of art history through a close discussion of common methodologies of the field. Instead of a chronological survey of particular periods in art history, the class is divided into three sections: the object, the artist, and the institution. This structure is designed to help students develop tools with which to critique and analyze the role of art and art history on politics, society, and culture at large. The class should help students develop and articulate their own ideas about the role of art and artists in the world. Basic writing and critical thinking skills are central to Art Matters in order to provide students with the tools for this thoughtful response to visual culture. Students will learn fundamental research skills in a diverse range of subjects and themes, facilitating the development of their writing and critical thinking skills. Readings You are expected to do ALL readings as homework in preparation for class discussions. Please order/purchase the following books: Available in MICA store or on Amazon: Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing About Art, 10th edition Available on Amazon: John Berger, Ways of Seeing Other readings are available as PDFs and URL links below each week's topic. Please check Moodle and your email EACH WEEK for updates about assignments and other class related business.

Grading and Assignments


Papers: 50%

There are three papers. The first paper is a Description; the second paper is a Formal Analysis; the third is Research / Interpretation paper. PDFs on Moodle have more info. Journals: 10% Journal responses to the readings are 2 points each. Post your journal responses to the Journal upload link, listed under each week, by 10PM on the day before they are due. To attain 2 points, you must show evidence of having fully read the assignment. If you post a reading response late, you will at most get 1.5 points. Discussion leading: 5% For 10 weeks of the semester, 2 students will be assigned as discussion leaders. Each student must bring to class at least 3 questions regarding the reading. Questions should promote discussion, and should be open-ended. Provocative questions are encouraged! In-class participation: 15% Participation means contributing to each class discussion. This means not only voicing your opinion, but also being an active listener while your classmates are speaking. Sleeping, cell phone use, and excessive computer use will negatively affect your grade. Debate and Group Work: 5% Working collaboratively is an important part of being an artist. There will be a number of breakout sessions during which you will work with you fellow students on projects. Your willingness to listen and work cooperatively, as well as your ability to voice your own opinion, are the key elements of success. Visit to Writing Studio: 5% The Writing Studio is located on the 4th floor of the Bunting building. You are required to visit the writing studio for feedback about your third assignment, the research paper. The mentors in the writing studio can help you: organize your ideas into an outline, edit your preliminary or first draft, or cite sources in your paper. You will get 0 points if you do not go to the writing studio at least on time. Final Presentation: 5% Everyone will give a 5-minute presentation about their research paper during the last 2 sessions of class. This is an opportunity to share your hard work with your peers. Be creative; you should make an image based presentation, and rather than reading your paper to the class, find a more engaging way to discuss the topic.

Policies on attendance and late work Attendance is mandatory. Because the course is dependent on your full participation, even one missing student can throw off the balance of the class. You are allowed one absence (use it wisely, i.e., for genuine sickness). The second absence will lower your grade by 5 points. The third absence will lower your grade another 10 points (at this point a total of 15 points). Four or more absences will result in an F for the course. All late work will be marked down 5 points per weekday and will not be accepted more than a week after it is due. All assignments should be posted on Moodle by 1:15pm on the day they are due. I will sometimes grant extensions on the papers as long as I am warned a few days in advance of the due date.

School Policies
Policy on plagiarism You are expected to be honest in all of your writing assignments. For your research paper, you are expected to cite sources using either Chicago style or MLA style. Any dishonest student caught plagiarizing will receive an automatic zero on the project. Your name will also be placed on a departmental list as a plagiarism offender. MICA will not tolerate plagiarism, which is defined as claiming authorship of, or using someone else's ideas or work without proper acknowledgment. Without proper attribution, a student may NOT replicate another's work, paraphrase another's ideas, or appropriate images in a manner that violates the specific rules against plagiarism at MICA. In addition, students may not submit the same work for credit in more than one course without the explicit approval of the all of the instructors of the courses involved. For more information, and a complete list of citation formats, visit: http://www.mica.edu/Academic_Services_and_Libraries/Writing_Studio/Online_Writing_Resources/Citatio ns.html ADA Compliance Statement Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss specific needs. Please contact the Learning Resource Center at 410-225- 2416, in Bunting 458, to establish eligibility and coordinate reasonable accommodations. For additional information please refer to: http://www.mica.edu/LRC Health and Safety Compliance From the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS): It is the responsibility of faculty and students to practice health and safety guidelines relevant to their individual activities, processes, and to review MICA's Emergency Action Plan and attend EHS training. It is each faculty member's responsibility to coordinate with the EHS Office to ensure that all risks associated with their class activities are identified and to assure that their respective classroom procedures mirror the EHS and Academic Department guidelines. Each of these policies and procedures must be followed by all students and faculty. Most importantly, faculty are to act in accordance with all safety compliance, state and federal, as employees of this college and are expected to act as examples of how to create art in a way to minimize risk, and reduce harm to themselves and the environment. Faculty must identify, within each art making process, and require personal protection equipment use, by each student for each class, when applicable. Students are required to purchase personal protection equipment appropriate to their major. Those students who do not have the proper personal protection equipment will not be permitted to attend class until safe measures and personal protection is in place.

SCHEDULE
(Check Moodle weekly for updates. Unless a link is included, reading is available on Moodle.) Class 1, January 19. Introductions PART 1: THE OBJECT Class 2, January 26. Formalism Discuss formal description assignment. Talk about group work- what is expected out of each student when working in a group? Divide class into 3 groups. Each group will do a formal description of a piece of art that they find in a campus gallery, using the language from this weeks readings. Groups will present their descriptions to the class. Reading due 1/26: o o o o Class 3, February 2. Iconography Review Panofsky writing. Apply the iconographic approach to artwork presented in class. Critique formal descriptions in pairs. Introduce Assignment 2: Formal Analysis. Discuss difference between formal DESCRIPTION and formal ANALYSIS. Reading due 2/2: o o o Panofsky, Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait Barnet, p. 260-264 Write formal description of an advertisement. Find one online, in a magazine, or on a billboard. Be sure to describe every aspect of the ad, from the way that the image is composed to the color to the place where the advertisement was found. Barnet, p. 1-9 Kendall Buster, The Critique Handbook, Chapter 1 Wlfflin -article, Principles of Art History What is art? What do Wolfflin and Buster think should be addressed when talking about art? What do you think should be addressed when talking about art? UPCOMING DEADLINE: Formal Description of an advertisement due 2/1. Upload to Moodle and bring a hard copy to class. Introductions and review of syllabus Discussion about favorite artists. Library visit #1: Essay without words project.

Journal due 1/26:

Formal description due 2/2. Bring a hard copy to class/upload to Moodle by 10PM 1/31:

Class 4, February 9. Ethnography: The Art vs. Craft Debate Lecture: Definitions of art and craft; aesthetics; and taste. Moving beyond success: writing workshop about formal analysis. Discuss formal descriptions and formal analysis individually. Reading due 2/9 o o o o Amadou Hampate Ba, African Art: Where the Hand has Ears Richard L. Anderson, from Calliopes Sisters, Introduction and Chap 5. Barnet, p. 46-59 Extra Credit: Warren Seelig, Craft and the Impulse to Abstract. Write a reflection about this essay for 2 extra points towards your participation grade. Journal due 2/9: o How do these authors define aesthetics (in other words- what, besides the visual product, defines a work of art)? What is your aesthetic, as Anderson and Hampate Ba write about the concept? PART 2: THE ARTIST Class 5, February 16. Biography and the Mythology of the Artist Class 6, February 23. Originality and Appropriation Lecture: Does originality exist? Discuss formal descriptions and formal analysis individually. Reading due 2/23: o o o Jane Hirshfields The Question of Originality Original Copies by Philip Tanari What is the different between the ways in which these authors write about originality? Do you believe that originality exists in the contemporary art world? Discussion about the idea of the artist. Group project about artist statements and biography. Reading due 2/16: o o Vasari Lives of the Artists excerpt Do you believe that Vasari offers a romanticized view of the life of Da Vinci? Why or why not? Journal due 2/16 DRAFT#1 formal analysis due by 10PM 2/14

Journal due 2/23

Class 7, March 1. Modernity and Industrialization Lecture and video screening: The Artist and Modernity In small groups, discuss Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction Reading due 3/1: o o Class 8, March 8. Contextual Approaches: Feminism and the Performance of Gender Introduce the interpretive research paper. Discuss the main differences between this and formal analysis. Divide into small groups to discuss the readings Lecture on Feminism and the performance of gender. Reading due 3/8: o o o o March 15. SPRING BREAK Class 9, March 22. Research Tutorial; Contextual Approaches: Marxism and Perspective Meet in the library for research tutorial Introduction to Outlines: Writing workshop on formulating a thesis statement and organizing your thoughts. Discuss and define perspective. What does one point perspective imply? Lecture: the art object, bias, and power. Reading due 3/22: o o Barnet, p. 23-29, 69-79, 241-247 Ways of Seeing Chapters 2 and 3 Post your artist/artwork to Moodle by 10PM on 3/14. This should be a word doc or PDF that include the title, artist, medium, location of the work, and image of the work. Excerpts from Griselda Pollacks Modernity and Spaces of Femininity http://www.oneonta.edu/faculty/farberas/arth/arth200/pollock_modernity.html Ways of Seeing Chapters 2 and 3 Barnet, p. 247-257 How does Griselda Pollack believe that womens experience of modern life differed from that of men? How does your experience as a male or female shape your experience living in a city? Upcoming Deadline: Attend a local art museum and choose a work or artist to research for your final paper. Due over spring break, 3/14. o Walter Benjamins Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction Barnet, p. 186-219 What is modernity mean in terms of industrialization? In terms of modern art?

Journal due 3/1: FINAL DRAFT of formal analysis due by 3PM 2/29

Journal Due 3/8:

o o

Meyer Shapiro, The Social Bases of Art. Optional: Check Moodle for extra reading. Write a response for 2 extra points towards your journal grade.

Journal due 3/22: o How does Shapiro feel about modern art? How can you tell that he has this opinion? What is your personal perspective and bias when viewing art?

UPCOMING DEADLINE: Compile your bibliography, including at least one academic journal and one book, by 3/28 at 10PM.

Class 10, March 29. FIELD TRIP TO DC PART 3: THE INSTITUTION Class 11, April 5. Institutional Critique and Relational Aesthetics Divide into groups to discuss the readings. Groups will present to the class about their reflections on the question: What is a museum? How does a museum change the meaning of a piece of art? Lecture on the museum and institutional critique Reading due 4/5: o o o o Interview from October magazine: Serving Institutions Carol Duncan, The Art Museum as Ritual Barnet, p. 29-32, p 265-298 How do Duncan and the artists in Serving Institutions believe that the museum changes the meaning of a work of art? Do you believe that it changes the meaning of a work of art? If so, how? If not, why? Class 12, April 12. Censorship of Visual Culture, the Art of Protest, and Social Practice Lecture: Censorship and Images as Protest Reading due 4/12: o o Robert Atkins, AIDS: Making Art and Raising Hell http://www.queer- arts.org/archive/show4/forum/atkins/atkins.html Amy Goodmans War and Censorship at Wilton High http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20070612_war_and_censorship_at_wilton_high/ Preliminary draft of Assignment 3 due by 10PM 4/10 (optional) Individual meetings, review choices for research paper and progress during the trip Bibliography and Outline due by 10PM 3/27.

Journal due 4/5:

Class 13, April 19. Community Art and Cultural Development Community art walking tour/lecture Group discussion: Sholette reading and Bomb interview. How is community art, art? Reading due 4/19: o o Class 14, April 26. Student presentations begin. Class 15, May 3. Wrap up and Student presentations FINAL DRAFT research paper due 4/25 at 10PM Interview with Rick Lowe, Charles Gaines, and Edgar Arnceneaux: http://bombsite.com/issues/111/articles/3446 Gregory Sholette, Dark Matter

http://www.journalofaestheticsandprotest.org/3/sholette.htm
UPCOMING DEADLINE: o FINAL DRAFT research paper due 4/25